Welcome to our first Mad Men review. Last year, we got caught up on this show, despite all the adultery, which you know we don’t like. The truth is, there’s nothing else on TV like it, and when it’s good, it’s great. Most of the time, it can be a tad dull. Overall, it’s worth watching.
What Happened- Months after the season four finale, Don and Megan live together in a large, nice city apartment. Megan has moved into the creative department of the ad firm. Shockingly, Megan knows that Don is really Richard Whitman, and she is totally ok with it. Don’s children visit and Sally gets a glimpse of Megan’s naked, sleeping back when she opens her father’s bedroom door. Don drops them off at their mothers, instructing them to “give Morticia and Lurch my love.” Joan had Roger’s baby and took some time off of work. Joan’s mother came to help her out and pressure her to be a stay-at-home mom.
Executives at rival agency Y&R dropped water balloons on civil rights protesters, leading Draper’s firm (SCDP) to run an ad in the paper that said they were an “Equal Opportunity Employer.” The ad was a snipe at their less progressive competitor. They didn’t really want to hire anyone, but a bunch of black people show up, looking for work. Lane collects their resumes.
Megan threw Don a surprise 40th birthday. Now, we’ve seen every episode of this show, so we know that Don does not like that sort of attention. It makes him feel out of control and too scrutinized. Megan should have known better, especially since Peggy warned her against it. Peggy gets a little drunk at the party and has words with Don about how hard she works and how Don is slacking now that he is “happy.” Don does not care, but Megan got upset about it.
Harry gives Don a walking stick as a present, rubbing in the fact that Don is old. Stupid Harry. Megan does a burlesque performance of a French song, “Zou Bisou, Bisou,” which means “Oh Kiss, Kiss.” This is probably the tie-in to the episode’s title. After the party, Don lies in bed and whines while Megan tries to talk to him and possibly have sex with him. He makes it clear that he didn’t enjoy the party, the waste of money, the embarrassment, or the recognition that he is old. The next day, Don gets the silent treatment.
At work, Roger screws Pete over by stealing a lunch meeting with Pete’s clients, so Pete gets all ambitious again. Pete is upset that Roger has seniority when Roger doesn’t do as much work as Pete. Pete demands Roger’s office in revenge. The partners tell Roger that Pete could use a bigger office, so Roger pays Harry to trade offices with Pete. Pete takes the office, but is unsatisfied. Pete then puts a fake meeting on his calendar for Roger to steal. Roger ends up going to a fake breakfast meeting at 6 a.m. on Staten Island. Nicely played, Pete.
Lane Pryce finds a wallet in a cab and keeps it, hoping it will help him meet a woman to distract him from his financial and personal stresses. It doesn’t work. Megan overhears Harry talking about her dance and having sex with her. When Harry is caught, he spends the rest of the episode freaking out that Megan will tell Don. Megan reveals that she is upset to Peggy and Peggy apologizes for her words at the party. Megan tells Peggy that she doesn’t feel well and goes home. Peggy goes to Don’s office and tells him what happened.
Don goes home to find Megan cleaning up after the party. She is doing it in her underwear, since she doesn’t want to get hot and sweaty. She tells Don that he is old and that he shouldn’t look at her while she is cleaning. Of course, Don keeps looking, since he is talking to her (and since her body is bangin’). He goes over to her and Megan tells him that he can look while she cleans, but he can’t touch. We know this sounds crazy and sexist, and it’s supposed to. Megan is having a mini meltdown. Don solves the situation with sex. They end up lying on the carpet, talking.
Comments- Question: Did this really need to take two hours? The recap we did is just as long as, say, a recap of Once Upon a Time or Pretty Little Liars, and those shows were only one hour. Mad Men takes a lot of time to get somewhere and started slow last night. Megan was the star of the episode and it’s about time, since we don’t know her very well from last season and Don proposed. Megan is a little crazy and conniving, but maybe she is good for Don. Betty stayed when Don cheated, but as soon as she found out that he was Richard Whitman, Betty had a problem. Megan knows everything and is still into Don.
Megan’s performance of the French song (which can already be found on iTunes) was sexy and pretty good, but it was awkward. We were so uncomfortable watching it. We knew what Don was thinking, we knew that all his stupid pig work friends were watching, and we knew this was the 60s. Ladies don’t do sexy dances in public in the 60s if they want to be taken seriously at work the next day. Don was probably starting to realize that the hip, modern advertising couple act might wear him out just as much as the perfect family act he had with Betty. Also, Megan invited all of his coworkers into his home and safe place.
We don’t know where the show is going with Megan. There are hints that she is a nice person with everything Don thinks he wants. Megan is fun. However, she doesn’t seem smart or emotionally stable enough to take on a thing like Don. She’s no Faye, in other words, and Peggy isn’t sure about her yet. We think this character is one that people will either love or hate. Some people might love to hate her. We can’t help being fans right out of the gate, since she is so accepting, different from Betty, interesting, and free-spirited. The age difference might be a problem. Don wants to relax, not have a surprise party. Megan can’t imagine such a thing, since she and all her young friends would love one. We guess the show is saving comparatively dour Betty for another episode because we didn’t see her in the premiere.
It was really funny when Joan brought her baby into work and even funnier when Roger met it. He didn’t seem impressed and cracked a few jokes about how unremarkable the child was. We also liked the scene where Lane assured Joan that she had a job at the firm and that she was indispensible. We like Lane, overall. Still, Peggy is clearly the nicest person on this show. It was funny when Roger ruined the surprise party (and when he asked his wife why she didn’t sing like that, and she replied, “Why don’t you look like that). Ern tried to do Megan’s eye makeup from the party to herself. The results were disappointing.
Episode grade: B